WindEurope 2017: Ivor Catto on why wind in Europe still needs political support

In his opening address at WindEurope 2017, Ivor Catto offered his thoughts on the impact of EU and national policies on the future of European wind.

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Richard Heap
November 28, 2017
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WindEurope 2017: Ivor Catto on why wind in Europe still needs political support

Wind subsidies may be tumbling but political support is still vital

WindEurope-logo-sm

The European wind industry has made great strides in the last year to cut the cost of electricity from wind farms. Yet the future still isn’t certain: policies from the European Union and national governments risk undermining the growth of the sector after 2020.

This was one of the key messages from Ivor Catto, chief executive of RES Group and chairman of WindEurope, in his opening address at WindEurope’s annual conference in Amsterdam this morning. He spoke about findings from the body’s new report, ‘Local Impact, Global Leadership’, which describes the importance of the wind industry to the European economy. This includes the €36bn contribution that wind made to EU GDP in 2016.

He also highlighted that the wind sector in the EU now supports 263,000 jobs, generated €8bn of exports outside Europe, and that its tax contributions to governments totalled €4.9bn in 2016. Altogether, wind was a "very important part of Europe’s industrial base".

However, Catto said that companies in the wind sector needed clearer policies from governments across the EU region. Currently, just eight of 28 EU member states have policies for the growth of renewables after 2020, while the European Commission’s Clean Energy Package is still making its way through the European parliament.

He called on the EU to aim for 35% of the European power mix to be comprised of renewables by 2030 - and, just hours after Catto's speech, the Committee of the European Parliament backed a binding target of at least 35% renewables by 2030 as part of a post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive. This will now be put to the commission's Industry Committee, and go to the EU Council in December.

“With costs falling, this makes economic sense,” he said. Without this, he argued that Europe could miss out on investment of €92bn from 2020 to 2030, as well as 141,000 jobs. Catto added that EU states need detailed renewables plans leading up to 2030, and should give three-year visibility over volume and budgets of government support.

He also warned that the EU should maintain ‘priority dispatch’ rules for renewables schemes that are already in operation.

European grid regulators spoke out against these rules, which give renewables schemes priority access to sell their electricity to the grid ahead of fossil fuel schemes, earlier this year. But Catto said that reining in such support for existing schemes would do major damage to investment plans: “Removing this would be extremely damaging to the economics of existing projects,” he said.

Wind in Europe may have made great strides in 2017 – but firms will need continued political support if they are to keep striding ahead in the next decade.

Wind subsidies may be tumbling but political support is still vital

WindEurope-logo-sm

The European wind industry has made great strides in the last year to cut the cost of electricity from wind farms. Yet the future still isn’t certain: policies from the European Union and national governments risk undermining the growth of the sector after 2020.

This was one of the key messages from Ivor Catto, chief executive of RES Group and chairman of WindEurope, in his opening address at WindEurope’s annual conference in Amsterdam this morning. He spoke about findings from the body’s new report, ‘Local Impact, Global Leadership’, which describes the importance of the wind industry to the European economy. This includes the €36bn contribution that wind made to EU GDP in 2016.

He also highlighted that the wind sector in the EU now supports 263,000 jobs, generated €8bn of exports outside Europe, and that its tax contributions to governments totalled €4.9bn in 2016. Altogether, wind was a "very important part of Europe’s industrial base".

However, Catto said that companies in the wind sector needed clearer policies from governments across the EU region. Currently, just eight of 28 EU member states have policies for the growth of renewables after 2020, while the European Commission’s Clean Energy Package is still making its way through the European parliament.

He called on the EU to aim for 35% of the European power mix to be comprised of renewables by 2030 - and, just hours after Catto's speech, the Committee of the European Parliament backed a binding target of at least 35% renewables by 2030 as part of a post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive. This will now be put to the commission's Industry Committee, and go to the EU Council in December.

“With costs falling, this makes economic sense,” he said. Without this, he argued that Europe could miss out on investment of €92bn from 2020 to 2030, as well as 141,000 jobs. Catto added that EU states need detailed renewables plans leading up to 2030, and should give three-year visibility over volume and budgets of government support.

He also warned that the EU should maintain ‘priority dispatch’ rules for renewables schemes that are already in operation.

European grid regulators spoke out against these rules, which give renewables schemes priority access to sell their electricity to the grid ahead of fossil fuel schemes, earlier this year. But Catto said that reining in such support for existing schemes would do major damage to investment plans: “Removing this would be extremely damaging to the economics of existing projects,” he said.

Wind in Europe may have made great strides in 2017 – but firms will need continued political support if they are to keep striding ahead in the next decade.

Wind subsidies may be tumbling but political support is still vital

WindEurope-logo-sm

The European wind industry has made great strides in the last year to cut the cost of electricity from wind farms. Yet the future still isn’t certain: policies from the European Union and national governments risk undermining the growth of the sector after 2020.

This was one of the key messages from Ivor Catto, chief executive of RES Group and chairman of WindEurope, in his opening address at WindEurope’s annual conference in Amsterdam this morning. He spoke about findings from the body’s new report, ‘Local Impact, Global Leadership’, which describes the importance of the wind industry to the European economy. This includes the €36bn contribution that wind made to EU GDP in 2016.

He also highlighted that the wind sector in the EU now supports 263,000 jobs, generated €8bn of exports outside Europe, and that its tax contributions to governments totalled €4.9bn in 2016. Altogether, wind was a "very important part of Europe’s industrial base".

However, Catto said that companies in the wind sector needed clearer policies from governments across the EU region. Currently, just eight of 28 EU member states have policies for the growth of renewables after 2020, while the European Commission’s Clean Energy Package is still making its way through the European parliament.

He called on the EU to aim for 35% of the European power mix to be comprised of renewables by 2030 - and, just hours after Catto's speech, the Committee of the European Parliament backed a binding target of at least 35% renewables by 2030 as part of a post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive. This will now be put to the commission's Industry Committee, and go to the EU Council in December.

“With costs falling, this makes economic sense,” he said. Without this, he argued that Europe could miss out on investment of €92bn from 2020 to 2030, as well as 141,000 jobs. Catto added that EU states need detailed renewables plans leading up to 2030, and should give three-year visibility over volume and budgets of government support.

He also warned that the EU should maintain ‘priority dispatch’ rules for renewables schemes that are already in operation.

European grid regulators spoke out against these rules, which give renewables schemes priority access to sell their electricity to the grid ahead of fossil fuel schemes, earlier this year. But Catto said that reining in such support for existing schemes would do major damage to investment plans: “Removing this would be extremely damaging to the economics of existing projects,” he said.

Wind in Europe may have made great strides in 2017 – but firms will need continued political support if they are to keep striding ahead in the next decade.

Wind subsidies may be tumbling but political support is still vital

WindEurope-logo-sm

The European wind industry has made great strides in the last year to cut the cost of electricity from wind farms. Yet the future still isn’t certain: policies from the European Union and national governments risk undermining the growth of the sector after 2020.

This was one of the key messages from Ivor Catto, chief executive of RES Group and chairman of WindEurope, in his opening address at WindEurope’s annual conference in Amsterdam this morning. He spoke about findings from the body’s new report, ‘Local Impact, Global Leadership’, which describes the importance of the wind industry to the European economy. This includes the €36bn contribution that wind made to EU GDP in 2016.

He also highlighted that the wind sector in the EU now supports 263,000 jobs, generated €8bn of exports outside Europe, and that its tax contributions to governments totalled €4.9bn in 2016. Altogether, wind was a "very important part of Europe’s industrial base".

However, Catto said that companies in the wind sector needed clearer policies from governments across the EU region. Currently, just eight of 28 EU member states have policies for the growth of renewables after 2020, while the European Commission’s Clean Energy Package is still making its way through the European parliament.

He called on the EU to aim for 35% of the European power mix to be comprised of renewables by 2030 - and, just hours after Catto's speech, the Committee of the European Parliament backed a binding target of at least 35% renewables by 2030 as part of a post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive. This will now be put to the commission's Industry Committee, and go to the EU Council in December.

“With costs falling, this makes economic sense,” he said. Without this, he argued that Europe could miss out on investment of €92bn from 2020 to 2030, as well as 141,000 jobs. Catto added that EU states need detailed renewables plans leading up to 2030, and should give three-year visibility over volume and budgets of government support.

He also warned that the EU should maintain ‘priority dispatch’ rules for renewables schemes that are already in operation.

European grid regulators spoke out against these rules, which give renewables schemes priority access to sell their electricity to the grid ahead of fossil fuel schemes, earlier this year. But Catto said that reining in such support for existing schemes would do major damage to investment plans: “Removing this would be extremely damaging to the economics of existing projects,” he said.

Wind in Europe may have made great strides in 2017 – but firms will need continued political support if they are to keep striding ahead in the next decade.

Wind subsidies may be tumbling but political support is still vital

WindEurope-logo-sm

The European wind industry has made great strides in the last year to cut the cost of electricity from wind farms. Yet the future still isn’t certain: policies from the European Union and national governments risk undermining the growth of the sector after 2020.

This was one of the key messages from Ivor Catto, chief executive of RES Group and chairman of WindEurope, in his opening address at WindEurope’s annual conference in Amsterdam this morning. He spoke about findings from the body’s new report, ‘Local Impact, Global Leadership’, which describes the importance of the wind industry to the European economy. This includes the €36bn contribution that wind made to EU GDP in 2016.

He also highlighted that the wind sector in the EU now supports 263,000 jobs, generated €8bn of exports outside Europe, and that its tax contributions to governments totalled €4.9bn in 2016. Altogether, wind was a "very important part of Europe’s industrial base".

However, Catto said that companies in the wind sector needed clearer policies from governments across the EU region. Currently, just eight of 28 EU member states have policies for the growth of renewables after 2020, while the European Commission’s Clean Energy Package is still making its way through the European parliament.

He called on the EU to aim for 35% of the European power mix to be comprised of renewables by 2030 - and, just hours after Catto's speech, the Committee of the European Parliament backed a binding target of at least 35% renewables by 2030 as part of a post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive. This will now be put to the commission's Industry Committee, and go to the EU Council in December.

“With costs falling, this makes economic sense,” he said. Without this, he argued that Europe could miss out on investment of €92bn from 2020 to 2030, as well as 141,000 jobs. Catto added that EU states need detailed renewables plans leading up to 2030, and should give three-year visibility over volume and budgets of government support.

He also warned that the EU should maintain ‘priority dispatch’ rules for renewables schemes that are already in operation.

European grid regulators spoke out against these rules, which give renewables schemes priority access to sell their electricity to the grid ahead of fossil fuel schemes, earlier this year. But Catto said that reining in such support for existing schemes would do major damage to investment plans: “Removing this would be extremely damaging to the economics of existing projects,” he said.

Wind in Europe may have made great strides in 2017 – but firms will need continued political support if they are to keep striding ahead in the next decade.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.